Security chiefs on Thursday ordered pastoralists in Turkana and West Pokot counties in northwest Kenya to hand over unlicensed firearms to the authorities. firearm
The police officers in the two counties warned that the government will not tolerate civilians to engage in breach of peace and vowed to stamp out cattle rustling in the region ridden with insecurity.
In a joint statement issued by the police chiefs during a security meeting at Turkwel, at the border of the two counties, the officials asked civilians to surrender illegal guns and warned of dire consequences on those defying the order.
While agreeing on a short and long term approaches to tame insecurity in the region, Julius Mathenge, the Turkana County Commissioner and Self Matata, of West Pokot, asked pastoralists keeping and handling firearms not recognized by the state to hand them over to the government.
“There is no reason why civilians should keep guns. We are asking those with unlicensed to surrender before our officers hit the ground in pursuant of the illegal guns,” said Mathenge.
The official, picked to chair security meeting in the region, noted that the existence of illegal guns is fueling animosities and conflicts among the herders and the withdrawal of the firearm will cultivate peace.
The meeting selected a unit to monitor the proliferation of small arms and light weapons along the Kenyan’s porous border with Uganda, South Sudan and Ethiopia.
The meeting, attended by high ranking police officers, mapped out strategies to curb the cattle rustling which has ruined development in the region. It is estimated that at least 200,000 illegal guns are in the hands of civilians in pastoral regions. Enditem

Source: Xinhua


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